The investigation continued Sunday into Saturday’s plane crash that claimed the life of the 63-year-old pilot and critically injured the only passenger.
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol, who secured the scene of the crash near the entrance to Lake Murray State Park and about one mile south of the Downtown Executive Airport, said the 1967 Piper Cherokee crashed about 2:15 p.m. The pilot died at the scene of the accident.
The passenger, a 58-year-old man, was taken by ambulance to Mercy Hospital Ardmore and then airlifted to Parkland Hospital in Dallas where he was admitted. Capt. Ronnie Hampton, commander OHP Troop F, headquartered in Ardmore, said the man had sustained severe burns that resulted when a fire engulfed the aircraft.
Neither the pilot nor the passenger have been identified. Patrol reports indicate the names are being withheld pending official release by the National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration.
Trooper Mike Groeber, OHP Marine Enforcement Division, who was on duty at the time of the crash and a pilot himself, said Sunday the FAA and the NTSB were at the scene.
“They are in the process of removing the engine. They want to take a look at it,” he said.
Groeber said the pilot and a friend, who is a mechanic, were working on the plane at the local airport prior to the crash
“I had talked to them earlier in the day. They were going to work on it and then depart going to Oklahoma City, I believe,” he said. “It looks like they were making a test run (when the crash happened). They never made it very far.”